Loss of penicillinase plasmids of Staphylococcus aureus after treatment with L-ascorbic acid

Mutat Res. 1988 Mar-Apr;207(3-4):107-9. doi: 10.1016/0165-7992(88)90072-3.


When 2 clinical strains of plasmid-mediated penicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus were treated with 1 mM sodium ascorbate for 6 h, 12-35% colony-forming units (CFU) irreversibly lost their ability to produce beta-lactamase. Agarose gel electrophoresis showed the disappearance of the plasmid bands from the lysates of colonies in which susceptibility to penicillin was induced by ascorbate treatment. Since ascorbic acid is a compound that is completely non-toxic, the possibility of its therapeutic use in the treatment of multiresistant bacterial diseases is proposed.

MeSH terms

  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics*
  • Cadmium / pharmacology
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Mercury / pharmacology
  • Penicillinase / genetics*
  • R Factors / drug effects*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / genetics*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Cadmium
  • Penicillinase
  • Mercury
  • Ascorbic Acid